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Carry Your Data Easily With the Best External SSDsLast updated: 10 Jun 2022We’ve all faced the dilemma of our computers running out of space and not being able to free up more because every file on there is important. Well, this is exactly where external SSDs come in. As expensive as these devices can be, most of them are definitely worth the price. The thing that makes external SSDs so amazing is how fast and easy they make it to transfer and retrieve data. Not only that but they can also hold a lot of information, while still keeping it safe, and they can easily be transported from one place to another. So if any of this catches your interest, then we’ve got the perfect list of the leading external SSDs for 2022 that’ll help you with your data storage needs. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide that will help you get just the right product for you.Show Contents
FInding Your Next External SSD: A Buyer’s Guide
Things to Consider Before Buying an External SSD
Usually, the more expensive an option the more storage you get, on top of more premium tech and higher speeds. But not everyone needs all of that, so the cost of your external SSD should definitely depend on what your needs are.
Durability and design
Depending on how you plan to use a device, you’ll definitely want to go for a product with a rugged design. Look for something that can take a little bit of a beating from the elements and can survive trauma-like shocks or falls without malfunctioning and losing all your data.
Why You Should Get an External SSD
External SSDs are super easy to carry around with you wherever you go. Their rugged design and lightweight construction make them the perfect fit for people who want to carry their data around safely.
Efficient power and performance
SSDs don’t use any physical moving parts to work, and because of this, they’re incredibly power efficient. Not to mention the strong performance boost this gives them. As a result, you get a longer battery life with external SSDs without sacrificing speed — and they’re really quiet too.
Comparing External SSDs to External HDDs
It’s a known fact that even the most low-end SSDs blow mechanical hard drives out of the water in terms of speed — all thanks to their use of flash memory. You can transfer large amounts of data in practically half the time using an SSD over an HDD.
Resistant to damage
External SSDs, and SSDs in general, are more resistant to damage compared to HDDs. That’s because HDDs use mechanical, moving parts in their architecture that can get damaged pretty easily, while SSDs use circuitry that’s easier to protect.
Types of SSDs
SATA 2.5-inch SSDs
This is the most traditional form of SSDs that you can find — basically the first generation of SSDs. They’re commonly used in laptops and are generally cheaper than the more modern versions of these storage devices. Capable of reaching read speeds of up to 570MB/s, these SSDs are almost five times faster than your average HDD. They come in a large, 2.5-inch size and a smaller mSATA form factor, depending on what you need.
M.2 SATA SSD
There really isn’t much of a difference in terms of speed and performance between SATA SSDs and M.2 SATA drives. M.2 SATAs are smaller though but tend to cost a little more.
M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
NVMe is a protocol interface that’s built for more modern versions of SSDs. These SSDs are much faster than a SATA SSD and are suited for users who deal with a lot of large data transfers.
Comparing Our Favorite External SSDs for 20221
The Samsung T7 External SSD remains one of the premiere devices in the market, thanks to its performance, size, and price. This option comes with 1TB of storage capacity and offers a huge 10GBps of data transfer speed — on paper at least. Its read and write speeds can reach up to 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s thanks to its embedded PCIe NVMe technology, and this option uses a USB-C connection with the ultra-fast USB 3.2 Gen 2. The product even comes with USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A connectors.
This device is extremely lightweight too, weighing around two ounces with a small form factor of about 3.3 x 2.2 x 0.3 inches — making it super easy to carry around, even in your pocket. And the solid-aluminum body protects it from fall damage of up to around six feet. The functionality and added durability of this option helped us judge it as the best overall on this list.
- Small size makes it very portable
- Super lightweight
- Fast performance
- Only has a three-year warranty
- USB 3.2 needed for max performance
The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD has some of the arguably greatest features of any device on this list. It comes with a decent 1TB capacity, with read and write speeds reaching up to 1050MB/s and 1000MB/s — all courtesy of its USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection with the USB-C cord. Its performance may be affected by a user’s device or other factors though.
Apart from its nifty features, this option is also pretty durable thanks to its rugged design and its IP55 water and dust resistance, not to mention the fact that it can even survive falls as high as six feet. This product also has a textured surface, making it easier to grip, and its small form factor of 0.38 x 2.07 x 3.97 inches makes it easy to just slip it into your pocket — contributing even more to its portability.
- 1-TB capacity is great for the price
- Super easy to carry around
- USB-C makes compatibility quick and easy
- IP55 makes it safe to use outside
- Physical port limits data transfer speed
If you’re looking for a decent external storage device but don’t really care about getting the highest speeds or the most advanced tech, then the Crucial X6 Portable SSD is the way to go. This device focuses more on providing value over performance. This 1-TB option uses USB 3.2 Gen 2 and can get decent read speeds of up to 800MB/s. But there is no official write-speed rating.
This product is incredibly tiny with its dimensions being 2.72 x 0.43 x 2.52 inches and weighing just under two ounces. It’s super durable too, even its plastic casing can survive falls of up to around six feet easily.
- Great storage capacity
- Easy portability
- Doesn’t come with a USB-C to USB-A adapter
- Lacks speed despite being USB 3.2 Gen 2
The Pioneer 3D NAND doesn’t have the greatest storage size and it doesn’t come with the latest tech and hardware either. This is the perfect device for users on a budget, and it should be appealing if you just want the benefits of an SSD hard drive and don’t want to deal with an HDD version. This device has decent speed but is limited by its USB 3.1 Gen 1 technology. It has a read speed of about 480MB/s and has 240GB of storage space — not huge, but great for people who just want a supplementary storage device.
It’s super lightweight too, weighing just under an ounce while being shock-resistant and just really durable in general.
- Decent speed for USB 3.1 Gen 1
- Very inexpensive
- Super lightweight and portable
- Storage capacity is small even for a less expensive device
Western Digital devices are known for their quality and performance and the WD My Passport SSD is no exception. This device brings an incredible 4TB of storage capacity so you can store large files without any worries. This option uses a USB-C connection to utilize the USB 3.2 Gen 2 technology that drives its high performance along with its high-end NVMe technology. This product can reach read speeds of up to 1050MB/s and write speeds of 1000MB/s and it even includes a USB-A adapter in the box.
Not only that, but this external SSD also has a password-enabled, 256-bit AES hardware encryption. It also has a solid-build quality with a mix of plastic and aluminum that’s both shock and vibration-resistant, helping it to survive falls of around six feet. It’s extremely lightweight and small too, weighing around 1.5 ounces with dimensions of 3.5 x 1.18 x 0.39 inches.
- Huge storage capacity
- Sleek, minimalistic design
- Easy to carry around
- Cable is really short
- A little on the expensive side
People Also AskedWhat’s the difference between an M.2 SATA and an M.2 NVMe?
The main difference comes in performance. NVMe SSDs always outperform SATA devices in terms of speed and processing. SATA devices struggle to go beyond 600MB/s.Can I carry my external SSD in my pocket?
Yes you can! External SSDs don’t have any moving parts and can take a lot of physical damage compared to HDDs.I need an external SSD with a lot of storage but don’t really care about speed, what should I get?
A standard SATA or an M.2 SATA will work just fine for that. You can even go with multiple devices or buy a really huge one, like the Crucial X6 Portable SSD.